WFP, the Government of Switzerland and Caritas Switzerland support national food security in Tajikistan

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Distribution of the provided food stocks for emergency needs - including support in the event of a possible significant influx of Afghan refugees into Tajikistan - will be undertaken through the Rapid Emergency Assessment and Coordination Team (REACT) mechanism that is currently governed under the chair of the Emergencies Committee. The delivered food stocks derive from ongoing collaboration between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), WFP and Caritas Switzerland that is aimed at improving food and nutrition security within rural communities through the adoption of more sustainable land use management practices.

One key aspect of the initiative is to support the production of a more diverse set of crops to enhance affordable access to nutrition and sustainable livelihoods that have sound environmental underpinnings. Participating farmers from Khatlon province and the Rasht Valley who have received seeds, fertilizers, and other productive inputs from the project have contributed 30% of their harvest (on approximately 40 hectares of land) for national (emergency) food security needs. The ongoing project initiative has, additionally, supported 15 women production groups in these regions to improve household food and income security through access to productive resources and agronomic support.

A number of these women production groups are now championing more sustainable, ‘science’ inspired, production practices that have resulted in harvests far exceeding those on adjoining farmlands – in some cases even a doubling of yields through monitoring of soil temperature for optimal planting of seed.

Ongoing collaboration and investment address the severe impact that CoVID-19 has had on access to food and nutrition for vulnerable households.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change. WFP has been working in Tajikistan since 1993 and has been among the first organizations to respond to humanitarian emergencies along with the Emergencies Committee. Over the past five years, WFP has provided technical assistance, equipment, storage capacity and extensive training to the Emergencies Committee staff at local and regional levels through awareness campaigns to build disaster-resilient communities and promote the role of the Emergencies Committee.

The Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan represents the Government of Switzerland and supervises Swiss funded projects implemented in Tajikistan. There are actually two Swiss Federal Agencies working in the country, namely the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Switzerland funds projects in the following domains: Water, infrastructure and climate change; Governance and Institution buildings; Employment and economic development. Additionally, the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan promotes arts and culture and supports small project from local organizations. The Government of Switzerland gives substantial contributions to the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United Nations system. Those organizations also support the Republic of Tajikistan.

Caritas Switzerland is a Swiss NGO, founded in 1901 with headquarters in Lucerne, Switzerland. Caritas Switzerland assists people in need within more than 50 countries abroad as well as in Switzerland. Caritas Switzerland has been active in Tajikistan since 1996. Within its country program strategy for 2021-2025, contextually relevant approaches for inclusive, effective and sustainable weather-water-climate services are developed and institutionalized for tangible improvements in human and environmental well-being within rural communities.

Source: Asia-plus